I recently happened upon a most inspiring podcast episode in my quest to manage the noise of overwhelm, a feeling I have been experiencing non stop since, well, I don't even remember. I work during school hours, handle most drop offs and pick ups, manage the kids activities and appointments, make one of a kind handmade designer leather earrings, manage my social media, website, and marketing for said handmade business (in8society.com) and live between two households (that's a story for another day).
If you're reading this, you are likely familiar with the back to back demands of today's evolved normal (it didn't used to be this loud and hectic). When was the last time you sat down to just sit or maybe to read a book that you *want* to read (and not one you have to read or that's a self help book to help you cope with whatever symptom is ailing you as a direct result of this new normal we live in)? I don't know about you but I am ready to opt out of this way of living and ready to opt in to a life lived with more quiet and thoughtful intention where *I* am in control of my focus and attention, rather than just winging it moment to moment or letting social- and news- media get the best of me.
As Dr. Amishi Jha, neuroscientist, professor of psychology, and author points out, our lives are comprised of moments strung together- so what we are paying attention to in those moments is literally what comprises our lives. Are you constantly staring at your phone, or always working, or constantly managing other peoples' lives, or, or, or....? THAT IS YOUR LIFE!
There is a way out of the vicious cycle and what she explains in this interview is both actionable and attainable and a practice that you will look forward to doing each day for just 12 minutes...and it's completely free (I feel like I have to say that because in today's world everything costs money). No strings attached. By the way I am not affiliated with any of the businesses or folks I am linking here. I share because it helped me and I want to pay it forward because I care about your well-being, too! :)
Understand that noise will never go away completely- the idea that we can get to a place of total bliss always and never experience hard things is not realistic. But we CAN train our minds to notice and observe the stress, anxiety, sadness, etc., without participating in it. It takes practice and like anything you've done for days, weeks, months, and years, it gets easier and you become more efficient.
So, without further ado, here is what Dr. Amishi Jha inspired me to do and how to do it. I will also link the episode to the Cathy Heller Podcast episode with her interview as well as other helpful links below.
12 MINUTE DAILY MINDFUL MEDITATION PRACTICE
I used to be a meditation hater, writing it off because my mind wouldn't stfu but Dr. Jha dispelled the myth that a quiet mind is the norm to start off with. In fact, as she put it, the incessant chatter is the baseline. But if you are able to notice at some point that your mind has left the room and you are able to guide it back gently and without judgement- you are on the path to mastering this sanity-saving hack. Let's get started (it won't take long because it is SO SIMPLE).
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Spotify App (or whatever you use to listen to Podcasts)
- A quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down (if you think you might fall asleep laying down, stay sitting upright)
- A candle (optional)
WHAT TO DO:
- Light your candle and set your intention to gift this time just to you and the present moment
- Cue up a 12 Minute Mindful Meditation of your choice from your app (gratitude meditations are a great place to start)
- Get your headphones on
- Find a comfortable position
- Press play
Do this as often as you need (find pockets or 5 or 10 minutes as you can) but at least for 12 minutes each day. You'll soon find it's kind of addicting because you are getting these micro vacations. You'll lay there all comfy and by yourself and you get to visualize you're anyplace you want. It's hard not to get hooked and it's one addiction that is actually healthy!
Oh- and your mind will wander and that's normal- just remember as soon as you notice to gently and without judgment guide it back to the moment (it may help to focus on your breath). We are training the brain to be present and it takes practice. Look if I can improve, so can you!
Let me know if you try it for a week and if you've noticed a shift. I'd love to hear from you (click the 'Get In Touch' Link in the footer)!